FRISCO, Texas– One of Jason Garrett's favorite phrases to describe a player is "position flex," as he describes a player who can certainly bounce around and play different spots.
He could also just refer to it as a "Wilber," considering Kyle Wilber is becoming the poster boy for playing multiple positions.
Once again, the Cowboys are moving Wilber around as they get ready for the Week 1 opener against the Giants on Sunday. While he's spent the majority of his career at linebacker, and technically remains at the position, Wilber is getting some looks at defensive end, especially with the Cowboys down a couple of rushers due to suspension.
Instead of trying to add other defensive ends on the roster while both DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory serve a four-game suspension, the Cowboys are simply relying on Wilber, who has pass-rushing skills, but has always been somewhat undersized as a defensive end.
[embeddedad0]Wilber, who came to the Cowboys as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, tried his hand at defensive end when the defense switched to a 4-3 scheme, but then moved back to an outside spot.
Now, he's getting some pass-rushing looks, on top of his linebacking duties and regular special teams assignments.
"Whatever to help the team win, that's my mindset," Wilber said.
But it seems like the overall mindset to play defensive end is a big change as well.
"Yeah obviously, at linebacker you have to read your keys and everything," Wilber said. "On the D-line its beat the man in front of you. It's just a different mindset."
"Obviously it's a physical challenge because at linebacker, I can just run away from tackles and guards," Wilber said. "But at defensive end, I have to play more physical and get my head in my gap. It's also mental because I have to put my head in that gap."
Against the Giants, Wilber knows Eli Manning likes to get rid of the ball quick. But during those moments he takes a bigger drop in the pocket, that's when he has to get home.
"You've got to keep rushing. They're not always going to go with the quick game," Wilber said. "Obviously, they'll take their shots. I have to play big, even though I can be small. I have to bend the corner and get small so they don't get their big hands on me. When it's time to take that shot and that five-step drive, you have to stay alive and get to the quarterback."
A look at the 53 man roster for the 2016 season.